OLJ Activity : Building the Academic Library 2.0

The keynote presentation by Meredith Farkas (2007), ‘Building Academic Library 2.0‘ to Librarians Association Symposium at University of California, Berkeley Division captures the essence of Library 2.0 ethos and resonates a number of key points that I have read in the modules so far. She addresses Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Library 2.0. Building Library 2.0 and Organisation 2.0 and tries to define Library 2.0. For her in a Library 2.0 the focus is not on tools but services and patron needs.

There are many pieces of advise in the keynote and I have used five key advice to consider here:

  1. The world of Web 2.0 is wired, connected, interactive and evolutionary. Our users are no longer information consumers but they are contributors and co-creators of information. With available technologies anyone can contribute information so building trust and partnerships with our users is important. We are participants in information creation.
  2. Know your users – It is important to get to know your users and non users and examine any assumptions you may have. This is very important to work to meet changing user needs. In the connected world of Web 2.0 your users are the active participants and co-creators of your library service. Trust them as partners in your service. Their feedback and comments from your social media tools for example library blogs, provides a rich source of information to access your services. Give them a role to help define library services of the future.
  3. Go where you users are. Survey your users and find out what their research needs are and what they value. If your users are frequent users of social sites try embedding your library services in places where your users are such as creating portals or links from Institute Facebook page to the specific areas of your library website/catalogue so users can find the information they are looking for research. Users start their search on Google or Wikipedia and not the library catalogue so find ways of pushing your content out to your users in places they do their research.
  4. Build participation – get over the idea of being experts in your fields. Harness the collective intelligence of your users by sharing knowledge and resources through social bookmarking tools. Social book marking is a method of capitalizing on the collective intelligence of your users in projects or research work. The tags and annotated lists can be stored on permanent location such as a wiki and can be linked to catalogues or learning management systems. Here is an example of content collaboration – University of Pennsylvania’s Pentags. Use wikis and blogs to collect information from the diverse staff in your organisation so you can tap into them at the point of need. Create subject specific blogs or wiki but find out if that is what you or your users need. You cannot know everything so network and share knowledge.
  5. Build a learning culture in your organization by starting in-house programs on different aspects of Web 2.0 technologies that will help your library to enhance services. Work time must be devoted to this type of professional development where one has to work with new technology. Immersing oneself with others is the way to learn but do understand staff members’ needs and limitations as everyone learns differently. For library management is important to understand the learning styles of your staff and offer appropriate training experience. Learning emerging technologies should be part of people’s job descriptions and be valued by the organisation.
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OLJ Activity Personal Learning Networks: Reflections

Based on Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption, identify which stage you currently see yourself experiencing and how this impacts on your personal and working lives. Also identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing PLN (ie. areas which you feel you would like to develop further/in the future). Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).

Reflections

I think we all have a personal learning network (PLN). Whether we use it in our personal or professional lives, our PLN is the group of people or organisations that we trust to provide us with useful information, fresh ideas, inspiration or advice. I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you if I said Web 2.0 has radically changed how we interact in a socially connected world of ICT. Social networking has revolutionised how we interact with our PLNs.

My PLN grown from my work colleagues; cherished personal mentor or workplace champions; sporadic professional development opportunities; and professional contacts at conferences to the new social networking applications and tools of the Web 2.0. Using Web 2.0 I  can connect and collaborate using a range of social media such as blogs, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Skype, Secondlife, Podcasts, Delicious, wikis, ning …

Looking at Jeff Utecht’s PLN adoption stages I think I am between 2 and 3.

Stage 2 Evaluation: Evaluate your networks and start to focus in on which networks you really want to focus your time on. You begin feeling a sense of urgency and try to figure out a way to “Know it all.”

Stage 3 Know it all: Find that you are spending many hours trying to learn everything you can. Realize there is much you do not know and feel like you can’t disconnect. This usually comes with spending every waking minutes trying to be connected to the point that you give up sleep and contact with others around you to be connected to your networks of knowledge.

I am still exploring and finding the networks that will I want to focus my time on. I seem to find a new one every so often that I want to explore. Sometimes I think I should just jump to Stage 5 as I think you should learn when you need to and you don’t need to know right it all right now. There are few things especially for this course that I have any urgency to learn and use in my work. But some I think I can get by and hope to visit later as I need to find a balance between learning, working full-time and living. Knowing when to disconnect is an important attribute in this game. So me to keep abreast of technological changes PLN is a lifelong learning experience.

I want to focus on a few tools and get to know them well. I like to experiment with the blog as I see their value and social bookmarking tools especially Delicious. Having a presence and making a contribution on useful social networks is another thing I would like to focus on. The figure below summarises my interactions with my PLN’s.

Reference

Utecht, Jeff. (2008). Stages of PLN adoption, available at The Thinking Stick.

Module 3: OLJ Task Library 2.0 and participatory web

Write a critical evaluation on ASU Libraries’ use of these platforms to achieve the 4Cs of social media (in no more than 350 words).

ASU Libraries have made effective use of social media to connect with users by incorporating Web 2.0 tools into library services through the creation of ASU Library Channel. The library has made clever use of social software tools and applications to create highly effective ‘one minute’ video clips to inform patrons about new services, resources, tools and ‘how to guides’. Using these video clips they are able to communicate with their user community. The short video clips make creative use of visuals, text and music to engage with their users. The OCLC Report 2007 highlights the growth and the influence of social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook and ASU Libraries have effectively applied Web 2.0 principles of 4Cs. The use of the video clips on YouTube and Vimeo enables the community to provide feedback and comments allowing the opportunity for conversation and collaboration.

Besides the use of the video clips the library also maintains an active presence on some of the biggest and most popular social media platforms available today notably Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo and iTunes and uses Web 2.0 applications such as RSS to engage with new content and service updates.  By creating content for more than one device such ASU libraries has as a mobile catalogue, website, blog and varied social media presence shows it has embraced Library 2.0 ethos and invites participation from the community that the user can choose to participate in. The blog is an effective tool for pushing out news and stories on library services and here ASU libraries have effectively used it as websites to publish their full suite of Web 2.0 services.

Flickr is regularly updated and has a relevant collection of photos depicting services, collections, events and library activities which users can post comments to as it is available via the Facebook site. The Facebook page is actively used to update and inform users on various library related content. This is a useful platform to socially engage in conversations and collaboration with users. Input from end-users in the Facebook ‘comment’ field allow for user participation and contribution of ideas and content.

ASU libraries ‘the library one minute video titled “social connection” encourages patrons to “connect with us and join our conversation”. It claims that communication goes both ways. Apart from promoting it services and resources on Facebook it has also uses Twitter. For an academic library it is important to engage with students in their social spaces. ASU provides collaboration between their website and the Facebook and Twitter site to provide information for their patrons. Patrons have the ability to rank information provided as ‘liked’ and they can tweet the ‘ask a librarian’ service. This can be seen as a form of conversation and content creation.

By using a variety of social media the library is targeting a whole range of users to participate in its services. Go to where your clients are is the new mantra for libraries and ASU libraries is certainly achieving the 4Cs of social media.

The world is changing, the way we access information is changing, and libraries need to look at this positively, grab the opportunity to show their users just how relevant they still are. And ASU libraries have achieved this through the 4Cs of social media.

References

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J, & Jenkins, L. (2007), Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC Membership, Dublin, Ohio: OCLC

<available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf&gt;

Marcum, J. W. (2003). Visions: The academic library in 2012, D-Lib Magazine vol.9 no.5


Module 3 OLJ Task: Activity: A-Z of Social Networking for Libraries

READ the post A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (22 January, 2010) on the Social Networking for Libraries blog.Consider this advice in terms of a library and information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select advice from five (5) letters of this A-Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 350 words in your OLJ).

After reading A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries I have chosen advice from 5 letters from the list that I consider may be applied to XYZ Library to embrace a Library 2.0 ethos.  According to Casey and Savastinuk (2006) at its most basic level, the Library 2.0 model gives library users a participatory role in the services libraries … the model seeks to harness our customer’s knowledge to supplement and improve library services. Thus considering this view I have selected the following (5) advice from the list:

D-Direction: What are you planning to accomplish for your library with social networking?

H-Help: Relying on only one or two people to build your library’s social networking presence will not work. It needs to be a whole team effort on behalf of your entire library staff.

M-Mobile: More and more your library’s social networking needs to be able to be accessed via mobile devices. There are also more options than ever for making this a reality.

R-Reference: You may think that offering reference services via social networking is impossible but the reality is that so many of your patrons use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that you can offer the answers to frequently asked questions as a form of reference services on these sites.

Z-Zeal: Is your library staff exciting about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library? If not, you will struggle to make it work for you.

First and foremost I think the library staff as a whole must understand, acknowledge and accept social networking, Web 2.0 services and applications and the Library 2.0 model and be willing to adopt this service model. The world of libraries is changing. The learning habits of library users are also changing. A lot of their learning takes place in social spaces and this is where libraries should be pushing some of their services to. To enable staff to have a common understanding of Web 2.0 services and applications there should be some form of team professional development. Allow staff to play with these tools and technologies to become confident in their use. It requires a team effort and zeal on part of staff to effectively use social networking as a means to connect with users. For this to happen the library must plan carefully what services it will target for ensuring that the library uses this form of communication successfully and achieve its goals. Start with something simple like SMS for library overdue loans and expand gradually. Start a library news blog and add more features gradually. But do market these new services as well.

Mobile devices are used by majority of our library users as their main source of communication, Internet browsing and social networking so it is vital for any library to embrace Library 2.0 ethos to ensure that some library services can be accessed using mobile devices such as having a mobile interface of the library catalogue so services can be accessed remotely anytime anywhere. As majority of our users have mobile phones the library can use text messaging as a form of reminding users when library items are overdue.

By looking to offer some reference services via social networking sites, the library can connect with patrons on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube as many of our users are already familiar with these sites and spend a lot of time using them (OCLC Report, 2007). A library’s presence on any of these social networking sites as shown by ASU libraries is vital in this day and age. These social learning spaces will allow them to engage with us and participate in our services so we can offer assistance in an environment familiar to them.

Reference

Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September.

<Retrieved http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6365200.html>

De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J, & Jenkins, L. (2007), Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC Membership, Dublin, Ohio: OCLC

<available http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf&gt;


 


Module 3 OLJ Task Essential knowledge, skills and attributes

ACTIVITY

Based on your reading in Modules 1, 2 and 3 so far, and your examination of Abram’s and Harvey’s definitions of Librarian 2.0 and the views presented in the above YouTube clips, define what you believe to be the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world.Write up your definition as a post (of no more than 350 words) in your OLJ.

Web 2.0 describes and defines the rapidly expanding suite of interactive technologies on the Internet. Web 2.0 technologies and tools are participative in nature so these are all about making connections, creating conversations, sharing learning experiences and ultimately about building communities to help end-users. Information professional have a vital role to play in this interactive environment as new tools become available and old ones fall by the wayside. For librarians and libraries to survive in a Web 2.0 world it important to keep exploring and expanding the suite of library skills and services to find the ‘right’ tools/applications that may better suit their services and support their clients. Understanding the information seeking behaviour of your users through these interactive technologies will help towards building a library service that is relevant and useful in the rapidly changing information landscape of today.

The essential knowledge, skills and attributes needed by information professionals to keep abreast of these rapid changes are many but the ability to continually evolve and adapt to these changes is vital keep your services moving forward. I note the following:

  • Recognise the world of information is changing fast and become an active participant by engaging with colleagues and educating yourself
  • Be willing to experiment and propose new services
  • Let go of previous services and take advantage of new tools and applications but be realistic with what can be achieved with new technologies
  • Join social networks and harness the knowledge of “collective intelligence”
  • Be selective with the technology choices, and select one that fulfils a particular need.
  • Be willing to go where you users are, both online and in the physical world to provide library services
  • Think about your services, your users and where you want to go with technology
  • Understand the power of Web 2.0, social media and social networking
  • User participation and feedback is important is creating or enhancing services
  • There is no ‘right technology’ as Web 2.0 is in a constant flux… so keep learning with new tools and experiment…

References

Module 3 Exploring Delicious

If you wish to use this task as one of your three (3) OLJ tasks for Assignment 2, you will need to write a short evaluation (no more than 350 words) of your use of Delicious as a social bookmarking tool – include a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of different features and/or functions, as well as a brief statement on the different ways an information organisation may be able to utilise Delicious to support information services, learning and/or collaboration of users and/or employees. I will moniter Delicious and visit it later to write my critical evaluation.

30 November 2011

I have not been a strong user of social bookmarking as I have mostly used Favourites. I did use the old Delicious  ad hoc and really liked the features , unfortunately I missed out on the time frame of moving my links to the new Delicious so basically I am a new user now. I do the like the new features and mostly use Help to get around. Now I am getting quite savvy at creating stacks, sharing links and following other users  but there is often service distruptions and long delays as this this service is being re-launched with new features and functionality according to AVOS and the new owners.

The site performance issues has drawn a number of negative comments from bloggers (heyjude.wordpress.com) as previous users are frustrated and worried about their bookmarks. Quite a few users have turned to other social bookmarking services such as Pinboard which charges a one off fee to join the service.

I’m quite frustrated with what I’ve seen so far on the new Delicious service with site maintenance issues, but will give it a couple of weeks to see how it shapes up. As Delicious is under development and feedback is being collated hopefully there will be something useful coming in the next few weeks… customer feedback is important for this service so I am hopeful the next few weeks will see enhancements in service and features

December 13/12/2011

I have created alerts on Google to track the developments as the new service evolves, monitor the forum. In a span of few months (Sept – Dec) there is  Delicious blog and looks like they are listening and responding to user feedback through new features and enhancements. A comprehensive overhaul of design has seen

  • More prominent comments from the stack creator to add a greater level of personalization
  • A more informative presentation with better content previews, to give a clearer sense of what’s behind each click
  • Better media display that showcases quality images and compelling video

With these enhanced features Delicious has great potential as a social bookmarking tool for supporting information services, learning and or collaboration with users in an a range of different learning environments such as schools, academic settings, public libraries or in business organisations.

The new Delicious has some new features which makes it visually appealing. The stacks feature is a collection of links built around a common theme and a juicy description can be added to it. But the categories are very broad and limiting for specific groups of users who would like to collect special web resources.

It now supports multi-word tags such as phrases can be added which is useful for resource discovery. Functions – Creating stacks, linking stacks, following and sharing via email but needs verification, Privacy setting, Sharing or editing, Adding tags and publishing stacks.

The focus of Delicious is discovery and curation. It is also becoming more social – interacts with Twitter & Facebook.

Module 2: Web 2.0 technologies and social software

Tagging

Tagging is a method of adding metadata to content which enables resource discovery. Adding key words or phrases as descriptive tags is a useful method of searching for content online and it is seen across a range of Web 2.0 platforms. The content in these platforms are created by people who want share it online so tagging enables others to find it and share.

Flickr is a popular digital photo-hosting site and makes great use of tagging so people can search and share digital photos. Assigning keyword or category labels enables us to discover what is available online.

I have been exploring the tags in Flickr and uploaded some photos for practice. As part of the module activity I have to uploaded some photos, created a photostream and then added some to the Group INF209-INF506 for sharing. This is a wonderful way to learn Web 2.0 technologies. There is much more to this online photo/video sharing site to learn.